There's a big match this weekend at the Citrus Bowl and, for once, neither of the teams will be wearing purple.
Even if you don't know who Los Ticos are or why everyone seems so worried about playing at Estadio Azteca, there's no reason you can't fit right in when two of the best teams in North America and their strong traveling support descend on the Citrus Bowl. Here's everything you need to know about Mexico and Costa Rica:
Okay, so Mexico and Costa Rica are playing a friendly in Orlando. Why?
When is the match?
Who's El Tri?
Are either of these teams any good?
Well, if you take the FIFA World Rankings at their word, these are the two best teams in CONCACAF. Costa Rica is currently ranked No. 14 in the world, ahead of such countries as England and Chile, while Mexico is currently No. 23 -- not great for them, but still ahead of the United States (we're stuck all the way down at No. 27).
That being said, both teams could use a win coming into the 2015 Gold Cup.
After winning the 2014 Copa Centroamericana (think Gold Cup, but just Central American teams) and closing out the year with an impressive draw against Uruguay, the Costa Ricans have struggled early in 2015. A scoreless draw against Paraguay was followed up with three straight losses to Panama, Colombia, and Spain. A step-up in competition to be sure, but not the kind of negative momentum that any team wants coming into a big tournament.
Mexico has also been in a bit of a slump after their World Cup exit, with losses to the United States and Brazil preceding a quick exit from the 2015 Copa America, in which they failed to win a single match. But they'll come into the Gold Cup with every expectation of winning the whole thing.
Who are some players to watch in this one?
When it comes to the Mexican national team, people are going to talk about Javier Hernandez, as the enigmatic striker has been the face of the team since he signed with Manchester United in 2010.
He ended his loan spell with Real Madrid in May and it remains to be seen where he'll be playing his club soccer next season. But before that, Chicharito has some unfinished business with his national squad. He was left off the roster for the Copa America, reportedly because Mexican officials didn't know which club to contact in order to gain his services. But the Gold Cup could provide Hernandez with a chance for redemption, as he closes in on El Tri's all-time scoring mark.
Saturday's match could provide an indication of how Mexican manager Miguel Herrera plans on using Hernandez, whether as a starter or super-sub, as he did during the World Cup.
For Los Ticos, one player worth watching is Alvaro Saborio, an MLS fixture with Real Salt Lake and the most capped player on the Costa Rican squad. Saborio was primed to be a veteran leader on last summer's World Cup squad but had to miss the tournament after breaking his foot. The Gold Cup could provide quite a redemption opportunity for Saborio if he can lead Costa Rica to the trophy.
Oh, and as always, be sure to watch Mexican manager Miguel Herrera. This man is just the best...